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Oak Ridge Reservation

Historical Document

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ORRHES Meeting Minutes
June 3, 2003

Unfinished/New Business and Outstanding Issues/Concerns

Ms. Sonnenburg asked whether a new work group should be formed to make recommendations for NIOSH to conduct an occupational research project in Oak Ridge. Dr. Davidson explained that ORRHES is not chartered to provide guidance on worker exposures. Instead, she suggested that NCEH make a presentation to ORRHES on its environmental health research agenda. Agreement was reached for PHAWG to discuss the research agendas of both NCEH and NIOSH during its June 16, 2003 meeting. Dr. Craig confirmed that PHAWG would list potential areas of study for the agencies and present these suggestions to ORRHES for consideration.

Ms. Isaacs reported that the PHA project plan is on schedule. The chemical screening process for groundwater and surface water was presented to ORRHES and the draft PHA on Y-12 uranium releases was issued for public comment. The public comment period will close on June 20, 2003. As with all PHAs of DOE sites, the PHA on Y-12 uranium releases will undergo an external peer review process. ATSDR will revise the document based on public comments received and present the new version to ORRHES and PHAWG for further review and comment. ATSDR is now focusing on WOC releases and historical releases from mercury. Ms. Isaacs commended PHAWG for providing ATSDR with valuable advice on filling data gaps and communicating technical information to the lay public.

Dr. Craig mentioned that the release of the draft PHA on iodine-131 was delayed until April 2003 to allow ATSDR to review and incorporate new monitoring data into the document. However, this date was not met. Ms. Isaacs announced that Dr. Joseph has been collaborating with ATSDR to collect deer thyroid studies and data on offsite air monitoring stations. The review of this information is ongoing, but the iodine-131 PHA is still a priority issue for ATSDR. Ms. Isaacs confirmed that ATSDR technical staff would hold a meeting to reorganize the project plan and complete the document. Mr. Lewis advised ATSDR to also incorporate communications issues in the project plan. In particular, a schedule for the briefing packets should be developed.

Ms. Dalton proposed several future meeting dates for ORRHES to consider. The next meeting is scheduled for July 29, 2003, but ATSDR is considering a later date to allow PHAWG more time to discuss and provide input on the upcoming PHAs. August 19 or August 26 is being proposed for the next meeting, but August 26 is a better date for ATSDR staff members who provide logistical support. The following ORRHES meetings are being proposed for October 21 and December 2, 2003 and February 3, 2004. Ms. Dalton noted that the proposed meeting schedule can be adjusted based on deliverables.

Dr. Davidson confirmed that the suggestion to hold a shorter meeting specifically targeted to the public will be considered. As a future agenda item, Ms. Sonnenburg proposed that Dr. Joseph give a presentation on DOE’s historical groundwater data. Mr. Hill made a motion for ORRHES to send a letter of appreciation to EPA acknowledging Dr. Akin’s participation and contributions to the process. He further recommended that a similar letter be sent to the agencies of ORRHES’s other non-voting liaison members. The motion was seconded by Ms. Sonnenburg and unanimously approved with no further discussion. Dr. Davidson will draft the letters.

Ms. Dalton called for a non-binding straw vote on whether or not the next ORRHES meeting should be held in the DOE Information Center. ORRHES’s comments, ATSDR’s budget constraints and other potential locations will be taken into consideration during the decision-making process. ATSDR will consult with ORRHES during this time. Nine members voted in favor of the DOE facility, four voted against and none abstained from voting.

New Action Items

Ms. Dalton reviewed the action items raised during the meeting.

  • Ms. Dalton to provide ORRHES with a copy of Ms. Kaplan’s initial e-mail message to Dr. Charp about the Task 6 Report.
  • ATSDR to provide ORRHES with a copy of the letter to Dr. Bounds on the cancer registry.
  • Dr. Charp to provide ORRHES with a copy of the article on cancer rates in the Marshall Islands.
  • ATSDR to clarify with Dr. Joseph the suggestion to update the compendium of all health-related research studies at Oak Ridge.

Mr. Hanley mentioned that the CDC study is included into the PHA and will be distributed to ORRHES by mail. The study contains an extensive discussion on the outcomes from the 1998 health investigation of the Scarboro community. Dr. Davidson requested details on ATSDR’s process to announce and disseminate the PHA to the public. Mr. Hanley replied that the document will be mailed to each individual on ATSDR’s comprehensive distribution list, but a review will be conducted to determine whether additional names should be added. The PHA will also be distributed as an electronic version on the ATSDR web site and by CD-ROM. Mr. Hanley made note of the members who asked for a hard copy or CD-ROM of the PHA.

Ms. Dalton added that ATSDR will issue a press release providing guidance to the public on the correct process to submit comments on the document. The notice for the current ORRHES meeting announced that the public comment draft of the PHA will be released in May 2003 and more details will be provided in the future. The meeting notice also directed the public to check local media sources for updates.

Housekeeping Issues

ORRHES applauded Ms. Mosby for her efforts in facilitating lunch.

Closing Session

Dr. Akin expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to serve on ORRHES. He acknowledged the tremendous dedication and talents of the members. He wished ORRHES continued success in accomplishing its goals. As the new EPA liaison, Dr. Akin was confident that Mr. Richards’s expertise in radiation and access to the agency’s chemical and toxicology resources will benefit the ORRHES mission. Dr. Falk reiterated ATSDR’s appreciation for ORRHES’s time and effort in providing input. ATSDR plans to maintain its commitment to finalize PHAs and complete other activities at the site. He was pleased that ORRHES’s efforts are leading toward a successful outcome.

There being no further business or discussion, Dr. Davidson adjourned the ORRHES meeting at 8:00 p.m.

I hereby certify that to the best of my knowledge, the foregoing Minutes of the proceedings are accurate and complete.


Kowetha A. Davidson, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.

Glossary Key

ATSDR — Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
AWG — Agenda Work Group
CDC — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CHCD — Community Health Concerns Database
COWG — Communications and Outreach Work Group
DFO — Designated Federal Official
DOE — U.S. Department of Energy
EFPC — East Fork Poplar Creek
EMEG — Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
EPA — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
ETTP — East Tennessee Technical Park
FACA — Federal Advisory Committee Act
FAMU — Florida A&M University
GAO — General Accounting Office
GPWG — Guidelines and Procedures Work Group
HENAWG — Health Education Needs Assessment Work Group
HERB — Health-Related Energy Research Branch
HHS — Department of Health and Human Services
HSRs — Health Statistics Reviews
LOAEL — Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level
MCL — Maximum Contaminant Level
MRL — Minimum Risk Level
NIOSH — National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
ORDR — Oak Ridge Dose Reconstruction
OREJC — Oak Ridge Environmental Justice Committee
ORO — Oak Ridge Operations
ORRHES — Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee
ORSSAB — Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board
PHA — Public Health Assessment
PHAWG — Public Health Assessment Work Group
TDEC — Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
TDOH — Tennessee Department of Health
WOC — White Oak Creek


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